The Swiss watch manufacturer Ulysse Nardin has announced its partnership with The Ocean Race. Together, these two ‘natives of the sea’ have committed to the responsible use and conservation of the world’s ocean, setting sail together on a decade of action.
Both Ulysse Nardin and The Ocean Race believe that time is critical for the regeneration of marine life and of the ocean itself, and that setting specific deadlines for action will promote significant progress. Urgency is the key to making progress as threats to the ocean are escalating and devastating the marine environment.
For more than four decades, The Ocean Race has provided the ultimate test of a team and a human adventure like no other. Since 1973 it has inspired and attracted some of the greatest sailors and its global race course has been the proving ground for the legends of the sport. Competitors in The Ocean Race have long kept a keen watch on the changing environment and in recent years, the race organisers have developed an award-winning sustainability programme under the banner, Racing with Purpose.
The initiative is built on three main pillars: The Ocean Race Summits, a series of high level forums to design improved policy for the ocean, address global challenges using local innovation and best practices; a Learning Programme which inspires and empowers young people around ocean issues and features learning modules in nine languages; and an innovative Science Programme, that uses the race boats and sailors to collect critical water and atmospheric data from remote areas of the ocean, to further scientific research into the state of our seas and our changing climate.
As part of the United Nations SDG 14 commitment, Ulysse Nardin is committed to keeping track of the scientific research required to make a difference. However, time is critical with milestone dates having been set to keep these advances on track; the first date for positive results is 2030. A symbolic countdown to this 2030 milestone will be featured on the Ulysse Nardin website as well as on www.theoceanrace.com.
COMMON VALUES AND A SHARED COMMITMENT TO OCEAN CONSERVATION
Ulysse Nardin, founded in 1846, has always enjoyed a strong link to the ocean. It provided early explorers and sailors with the first marine chronometer, allowing for precise navigation and positioning on the sea. This partnership with The Ocean Race, and its focus on sustainability, is a natural extension of Ulysse Nardin’s core belief that innovative and far-reaching solutions must be sought to limit large-scale environmental damage currently afflicting the world’s seas.
“As the Time to Act partner of The Ocean Race, we at Ulysse Nardin are taking on the role of the ‘guardians of time’, keeping track of the sustainable actions undertaken so that we don’t lose purpose or direction, thus playing an essential role in delivering positive, timely results on these crucial environmental issues in keeping with the commitments set out in SDG 14,” explained Patrick Pruniaux, CEO of Ulysse Nardin.
“The Ocean Race, where our teams race through some of the most remote parts of the planet, collects a unique set of comprehensive environmental data using cutting-edge technology, which is shared with scientists to contribute to global research areas,” said Richard Brisius, Race Chairman of The Ocean Race. “The Ocean Race Summits are a catalyst for change and are designed to accelerate action to restore ocean health.”
The next in the series of The Ocean Race Summits will be held on June 16th 2021. Among the strong line-up of speakers and policy-makers at the event will be Ursula Von der Leyen, President of the European Commission. There are nine events still to come in the current series of The Ocean Race Summits, including ones based in Europe, Asia, and North and South America before the end of 2023.
ULYSSE NARDIN AND THE UNITED NATIONS SDG 14
At Ulysse Nardin, we are sustainable by nature. We believe in upcycling, we move towards sourcing & circular use, we advocate for day-to-day actions, we rule by transparency, we mentor for good and we follow the SDGs.
Ulysse Nardin and The Ocean Race are committed to implementing the guidelines outlined by the United Nations in its article on 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), set to be achieved by 2030 through a Decade of Action.
Ulysse Nardin has pledged to adhere to these guidelines, which determine the priorities and actions necessary to maintain the sustainable management of the ocean.
The Swiss brand has turned its efforts towards researching and developing solutions for the growing plastic pollution crisis in our ocean. The watchmaker has implemented a dedicated research unit to study materials from the sea, particularly the characteristics of oyster shells, algae, marine PET (plastic bottles) and polyamide fishing nets. The team is currently researching several avenues of sustainable innovation for future watchmaking projects.
In October 2020, Ulysse Nardin marked the first milestone in its commitment to the marine circular economy with the launch of the new R-STRAP. The strap is compatible with the DIVER, MARINE and FREAK X watches and made from recycled fishing nets, one of the main sources of ocean plastic pollution.
In November 2020, Ulysse Nardin was taking its commitment further by introducing the DIVER NET, a concept watch in which each trim element has been designed to be environmentally friendly. An innovative and upcycled watch for which the search for suppliers was key.
As a champion of protecting the world’s shark populations, Ulysse Nardin has put a special focus on preserving the salt-tolerant, aquatic mangrove forests, the natural nursing grounds for some species of sharks, as well as on monitoring the plastic waste that negatively affects the food supply of these apex predators. The actions required to reduce marine pollution include finding new uses for discarded fishing nets and other plastics.
Another central goal at Ulysse Nardin is to increase oceanographic knowledge by supporting scientists, explorers, sailors and athletes and staying focused on this window of opportunity for initiative and commitment. For example, through shark bio-tagging, thanks to their partnership with Fred Buyle, OCEARCH, the Florida International University (FIU) and the Açores University, and through the support of environmental activists, including the many ocean-minded friends of Ulysse Nardin who have direct knowledge of the state of the seas because of their personal amphibious activities.
As a partner of The Ocean Race, with a focus on the Racing with Purpose sustainability program, including the forthcoming Summits, Ulysse Nardin will invite their “Ulysses” - friends of the brand - who are all connected to the ocean through their work, to speak about conservation issues.
In announcing this new partnership, Ulysse Nardin is demonstrating that it intends to put all of its internal resources behind this massive, policy-making initiative. The countdown is well underway and there is nothing less at stake than the health of the world’s ocean and the waters it contains, which is the solvent of all life everywhere.
ABOUT ULYSSE NARDIN – MANUFACTURE OF FREEDOM
Ulysse Nardin is the Pioneering Manufacture inspired by the sea and delivering innovative timepieces to free spirits.
Founded by Mr. Ulysse Nardin in 1846 and a House of the international luxury group Kering since November 2014, Ulysse Nardin has written some of the most beautiful chapters in the history of Fine Watchmaking. The brand owes its reputation to its ties with the nautical world: its on-board marine chronometers are among the most reliable ever designed and remain very popular with collectors all over the world. A pioneer in cutting-edge technologies and the use of innovative materials such as silicon, Ulysse Nardin is one of the few manufactures with the in-house expertise necessary to produce its own high-precision components and movements. An exceptional level of horological excellence has earned it a spot in the exclusive circle of Swiss watchmaking: the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie.
Ulysse Nardin is taking action in two main ways to help conserve the oceans: reducing marine plastic pollution and developing scientific knowledge in shark conservation, animals which are its emblem. Today, from Le Locle and La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland, Ulysse Nardin continues its quest for watchmaking perfection around four pillars: Marine, Diver, Blast and Freak. In 2021, Ulysse Nardin is celebrating its 175th anniversary and is offering fans of exploration a vertical odyssey, from the ocean depths to the upper atmosphere.